Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

750 avoidable deaths a month in NHS hospitals, study finds


One in 28 deaths can be attributed to poor care and study says standard death rates should not be used to rank quality of care

About 750 patients a month in NHS hospitals are dying unnecessarily, the largest review of “avoidable deaths” has found. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said “One in 28 deaths could be attributed to poor care such as inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine”.

In February, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that hospitals in England would be required to monitor the rate of avoidable deaths and that officials would rank trusts on this measure. Hunt said the rate of avoidable deaths in hospitals was the “biggest scandal in global healthcare” and estimated that 1,000 patients died needlessly each month. He said healthcare should learn lessons from the airline industry, where annual deaths worldwide had fallen from 2,000 in the 1970s to 500 now.

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Fears over death wish databases that doctors say mean elderly could be left to die at home rather than saved at hospital

Do you think it’s a good idea to construct computer databases containing the details of how elderly people want to die in hospital or at home? 

Please fill in our one question survey


A ‘worrying’ scheme to construct a series of computer databases containing the details of how every elderly person wants to die is being recommended by MPs.

They are pressing Ministers to push ahead with a universal system for recording people’s death wishes – despite fears people could be denied life-saving hospital treatment. Doctors or nurses would ask elderly patients where they want to die and whether they would prefer treatment to be withheld if all appears lost. Their wishes would then be added to databases to be shared with GPs, hospital staff and ambulance crews.  The Health Select Committee wants to reduce the number of dying patients being ferried to hospital for ‘unnecessary’ reasons. While around seven in 10 people say they want to die in their own homes, only two in 10 actually do. Too often, according to a report from the committee today, doctors carry information about where and how their patients want to die ‘in their heads’. Under the new system, if a patient has indicated they want to die at home, this information will be passed to paramedics called to an emergency.

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Filed under: Elderly, GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Dying is part of living – by Andrea Sutcliffe

This is a very good article written by Andrea Sutcliff of the CQC.

If you know someone who is bereaved, go to them and simply be with them – it could be the greatest gift you give

Click on the link to read

Dying Matters have produced a leaflet with tips of what to say and do. Please click on the link –  Being there



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Dying patient’s last wish comes true as she is reunited with beloved horse for final time

Dying Sheila Marsh was given this one last chance to see her favourite horse after it was brought to her hospital bedside by caring staff. The 77-year-old grandmother-of-four was clearly delighted as horse Bronwen gently nuzzled her just a few short hours before she died of cancer. The scene – photographed at Wigan Royal Infirmary in Greater Manchester after staff moved the patient’s bed outside – reduced everyone to tears. Daughter Tina, 33, said: “I was crying my eyes out and all the nurses were crying too  “She took comfort out of it and it was a beautiful moment.

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How wonderful. It shows that there are still people out there who have compassion for our fellow man xxx

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Most terminally ill patients not told they are dying, says damning report

Fewer than half of patients known by medical staff to be in their final days were told they were dying, a highly critical report has found.
Care of dying patients ‘is not an important issue’ for hospitals and treatment has failed to improve in many areas despite sustained pressure from campaigners, it was warned.
Welsh MP Ann Clwyd highlighted the problem when she said her husband, Owen Roberts, 77, died ‘like a battery chicken’ from an ‘almost callous lack of care’. An independent review later dismissed many of her claims.
A comprehensive national audit has now found fewer than half of patients judged as capable of having a conversation were told that they were dying by medical staff.

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The National Care of the Dying Audit for Hospitals. Click here to download

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